Jewish Film Presenters Network Conference 2019 – Guests and Speakers
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Jenny Raskin, Co-Executive Director at Impact Partners
Jenny Raskin has worked as a documentary producer, director, series producer and executive producer. Her credits includes STEP (executive producer), TROPHY (executive producer), DINA (executive producer), OUR NIXON (executive producer), HERE COME THE VIDEOFREEX (director/producer), MOTHERLAND AFGHANISTAN (producer), ON HOSTILE GROUND (director/producer), and many others. She received her B.A. from Barnard College and a master’s degree from the Culture and Media Program at New York University.
Udy Epstein, 7th Art
Udy Epstein is a distributor and producer of independent and specialized films. Originally from Israel, he studied film at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Udy will be traveling to Israel to vote in the elections, for the second time this year. In 1994, he founded 7th Art Releasing. The company is noted for its releases of award-winning feature films such as the Academy Award® winning documentary, The Long Way Home. Other films include: Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, The Jewish Experience, Walter Arlen’s First Century, Persona Non Grata, The Law, Murer: Anatomy of a Trial, 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus, The Prince and the Dybbuk, Portrait of Wally, Jews and Baseball and many more.
Hedva Goldschmidt, Go2Films
Hedva Goldschmidt, a seasoned and well-known Israeli distributor with a sharp eye and a big smile, founded Go2Films in 2005. Prior to that, she headed the distribution department at The Ma’ale Film School and worked as a graphic designer and illustrator. Hedva leads various workshops on Israeli cinema, innovative distribution and branding. In addition to her work, she is co-founder of Women of Faith for Peace, in an inter-religious group of Jewish, Muslim and Christian women promoting empowerment of women in societies at conflict.
Among the films that Go2Films represents are The Unorthodox, Golda, Unsettling, Ben Gurion, Epilogue, Good Morning Son, Inside the Mossad and the TV series The New Black, Shtisel, Flase Flag and The Conductor.
Ingrid Jean-Baptiste, Founder, Chelsea Film Festival
Ingrid Jean-Baptiste Ingrid Jean-Baptiste was born in Paris and raised between Paris and London.
After graduating from La Sorbonne University, she started a career in journalism
and worked for different French magazines at publication group EMAP France. Ingrid initiated the idea to create an international hub for up and coming artists in Chelsea, New York, where she currently lives: the Chelsea Film Festival was born. Since its creation to 2015, the Festival has presented over 350 Official Selections (World, US and NY Premieres) from more than 30 countries and has become an international platform for emerging filmmakers.
Wendy Cohen – President, Picture Motion
Wendy Cohen is the President of Picture Motion playing a leading role in business development, strategic planning and campaign management. She lead impact campaigns for Free Solo, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Minding the Gap, Lion, 13th and currently working on Knock Down the House and Ghost Fleet. Prior to joining the Picture Motion family, Wendy was the Senior Director of Film Campaigns at Participant Media where she developed innovative online and mobile initiatives for Charlie Wilson’s War, The Visitor, Food, Inc, The Cove, Waiting for “Superman”, Lincoln, Middle of Nowhere and A Place at the Table. Wendy was born and raised in Montreal and began her career in film in 2003 as the Programmer and Outreach Coordinator for the Media That Matters Film Festival and Media That Matters: Good Food project. In 2006, she became the first Community Manager for The Huffington Post in New York City. Wendy produced Every Third Bite in 2009, an award-winning short documentary about bees hailed as a “better bee movie” by New York Magazine, she produced the 2011 Sundance Institute trailer for the Sundance Film Festival titled Light is Love and completed production on her second short narrative film titled All Exchanges Final in 2017. Wendy continues to be a guest lecturer and panelist at festivals and schools around the country and has been profiled in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Hollywood Reporter and Mashable. She is a recipient of the 2010 New Leaders Council’s 40 Under 40 Leadership Award.
For close to fifty years Barry Rebo has been a pillar of independent film and television, internationally. Starting as a director/cameraman and producer he is best known for his pioneering entrepreneurial spirit as well as his eye for emerging talent that includes Bruce Springsteen, Julie Taymor, and Zbigniew Rybczyski, all of whom created their initial film and television projects in partnership with Rebo. Bagatelle Releasing, Inc was recently founded to support Rebo’s ongoing interest in genre specific film festivals.
Nina Guralnick , Executive Director of NY Int’l Children’s Film Festival
Ariana Cohen-Halberstam , Artistic Director of Boston Jewish Film
Ariana Cohen-Halberstam has been the Artistic Director of Boston Jewish Film since 2015. She came to Boston from NYC, where she worked as the Associate Director of Film Programs at the JCC Manhattan. She previously worked in post-production in TV and on several documentary films.
Helen Zukerman, Toronto Jewish Film Festival
Helen Zukerman is one of the founders of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival and presently the Artistic Director.
Katherine Crosby, AJFF
As Community Programming Manager, Katherine handles the guest programming coordination involved in both the annual festival and additional year-round programming. Additionally, she leads the AJFF’s community engagement efforts, seeking to ensure that AJFF is finding appropriate partners for all Festival-related and year-round events, while strategically working with diverse partners city-wide. Previously, Katherine worked at Creative Artists Agency in New York as an Agent Trainee in the Alternative Television Department. She graduated from Harvard University in 2014.
Cindy Stern, Executive Director of the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema
Cindy Stern is the executive director of the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema and has been with the organization since 2010. She previously served as an award-winning advertising agency creative director, writer and broadcast producer on multi-media campaigns for Fortune 100 companies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulderand a master’s in nonprofit management from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago.
Raphaela Neihausen , Executive Director of DOC NYC
Raphaela Neihausen is founding Executive Director of DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival, celebrating its tenth anniversary this coming November. She is also ED of 51Fest, Split Screens TV and the weekly IFC Center documentary series Pure Nonfiction. From 2011 – 2014, she launched the Montclair Film Festival as Executive Director. Prior to that, she worked for seven years at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), advising Fortune 100 companies on strategic growth. Neihausen co-hosts WNYC’s “Doc of the Week” and executive produces the podcast Pure Nonfiction. She also produced the feature documentary Miss Gulag and the 2017 Oscar® nominated short film Joe’s Violin. She holds a BSFS/MA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Dani Menkin, Filmmaker
Dani Menkin is a twice Israeli Academy Award Winning filmmaker for 39 POUNDS OF LOVE, IS THAT YOU?. 39 Pounds of Love has been sold to HBO and was SHORTLISTED for the OSCARS. Dani Menkin’s award winning film, DOLPHIN BOY (co-directed with Yonatan Nir) was sold to over 20 countries around the globe and was bought by DISNEY for adaptation. ON THE MAP is being distributed by LIONSGATE in North America. Dani Menkin LIVES AND WORK IN LOS ANGELES these days. He is a speaker and film juror at International Festivals around the world, and a film professor in universities in the U.S.
Isaac Zablocki , Director of Film Programs, JCC Manhattan
Isaac Zablocki is the Director of film programs at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. He attended film school at Columbia University and went on to work at Miramax films. Previously, he produced and directed feature films and developed film educational programs for the Board of Education. Since 2004, Isaac has been developing film programs at the JCC including The Israel Film Center. Beyond ReelAbilities, he programs multiple film festivals annually including the acclaimed Other Israel Film Festival about Arab and minority populations in Israel.
Yaara Kedem, JFilmBox Coordinator
Yaara Kedem graduated with a degree in Film & Television and Special Education Studies at Tel Aviv University in Israel. She spent several years in post-production, program localization, and film brand development for film festivals, interactive gaming, live events, TV networks and children’s programs. Alongside, she was working as the Travel Director and Tour Leader at a summer camp and travel program for children and teens with special needs based in Pennsylvania.
Vicki Levy, AARP
Vicki Levy is a Senior Research Advisor in Consumer Insights for AARP. She has been in the Research field for over ten years conducting quantitative and qualitative research, both consumer and business-to-business, focused on leisure and personal fulfillment, personal finances, health perceptions, business operations and organizational research. Vicki has a BA from Wake Forest University, an MBA from Georgetown University, has completed the Graduate Certificate in Survey Design and Data Analysis from The George Washington University, and holds certificates of completion in Focus Group Moderating from Riva Institute and in the Principles of Market Research from The University of Georgia. She is certified through the Insights Association with the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC).
Dave Fishelson, Filmmaker
Dave Fishelson has been a producer, writer and director in Manhattan for 35 years. His new film, Golda’s Balcony, The Film (2019)(with TOVAH FELDSHUH as GOLDA MEIR + 44 other characters) has emerged as the sleeper hit of 2019. Officially Selected to over 40 Festivals in just its first 4 months, GOLDA recently went “8 for 8″ winning every “AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD” its ‘been up for’ at the 2019 Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Palm Beach, Charlotte, Honolulu, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rockland Co. Jewish Film Festivals. — There’s no charge to Festivals for the film, though Festivals should charge for tickets; this is because the film is being subsidized by a pro-Israel group, and has been designed so that Festivals, JCC’s etc. will make money. Future Festivals include those of Sao Paulo, Cleveland, Dallas, Milwaukee, Dayton and many others, after sold-out appearances in Chicago, Phoenix, Tampa, and Detroit, & others.
Lesli Klainberg , Executive Director, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Lesli Klainberg is also an award-winning producer and director whose documentaries have screened at film festivals such as Berlin, Sundance, Outfest and Frameline, and have been broadcast on networks including Cinemax, AMC, A&E, The Independent Film Channel (IFC), WE and PBS. Prior to her current role as Executive Director, Lesli served as FSLC’s Managing Director and the producer of the New York Film Festival. From 2008 through 2011, she served as Executive Director of NewFest, the NYC LGBT Film Festival.
Jessica Rosner , Film Booker
Jessica Rosner is an independent booker who works with both filmmakers and distributors of Jewish themed (as well as non Jewish) films. I currently represent 5 films that have or will play in the following festivals in 2019 Cannes, Sundance as well as the San Francisco,. New York, Toronto and Boston Jewish Film Festivals.
Kurt Beadling, Passion River
Kurt graduated from Rowan University with a bachelor’s degree in Radio/TV/Film and a minor in Marketing. Previously interning for the Philadelphia Film Society in their Marketing Department, Kurt is excited to dive right into the business of distribution and marketing film. Kurt’s hobbies include kayaking, hanging out with friends around a campfire, playing with his niece, and going to the movies.
Oded Horowitz , Distributor
Oded Horowitz is a distributor and a marketing expert. Formerly from Menemsha Films, where he worked on films like THE WOMEN’S BALCONY, Oded is now working independently. Before moving to the US in 2015 Oded was one of the main art house distributors and exhibitors in Israel for the past 25 years.Currently Oded is handling PICTURE OF HIS LIFE by Yonatan Nir & Dani Menkin, AULCIE the new upcoming film by Dani Menkin, MY GERMAN BOYFRIEND by Noga Netzer and more…
Hai Piasezky, Senior Community Shaliach
Hai Piasezky, originally from Moshav Gea, is now living in Manhattan serving as a Senior Community Shaliach (emissary) for the Upper West Side on behalf of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the UJA Federation. In his capacity as Shaliach, Hai works with the diverse communities of the Upper West Side, including more than 25 different organizations, in order to bring Israel to the community and build communal connections to Israel. Hai moved to New York in 2016 with his wife Riki and lives there with his two daughters, Carmel (3.5) and Yarden (1.5). Before moving to New York, Hai worked for the JDC’s Institute for Leadership and Governance as a Program Director in the Western Negev, and in various positions in the Rothschild Caesarea Foundation. He holds an MBA in Social Leadership from Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Mandel Foundation, and a Bachelor’s in General History and Israel Studies from Ben Gurion University.
Neil Freidman, Menemsha
Neil Friedman, Founder, and President of Menemsha Films possesses an incomparable talent for unearthing the undiscovered masterpiece. Neil Friedman is the President of Menemsha Films, a U.S.-based distribution and international sales company.
Menemsha, founded by Friedman in 1998, set a record by representing five Academy Award nominees, five years in a row: Divided We Fall (Czech Republic), Son of the Bride (Argentina), Zelary (Czech Republic), Prisoner of Paradise (Canada), and Story of the Weeping Camel (Germany).
Menemsha is most recently known as the U.S. distributor of the Hungarian film “1945”, the Israeli film “The Women’s Balcony” and the British comedy “Dough” Currently, Menemsha’s film “Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel” is in theaters across the country.
Neil’s years of experience as Vice President of New Line Cinema, President and C.O.O. of the Pressman Company, and Co-chair of William Morris’ Independent Feature division gave him unparalleled skills and expertise.
Randy Ellen Lutterman, JCCA
Randy Ellen Lutterman is Vice President, Arts and Culture | Director, JCC Maccabi ArtsFest® for JCC Association of North America. Randy works directly with JCCs to maximize and share resources, trends and programming ideas, as well as creates signature programming and funding opportunities for JCCs designed to further strategic and program development. Randy has a twenty year background in arts consulting, producing and developing new artists and new work. Ms. Lutterman is a native of Montreal and a graduate of Brown University, where she serves as a Women’s Launch Pad Mentor on the Women’s Leadership Council. She lives in New York City with her husband Elliott, and her very tall son Ryder.
Hadara Ishak, Imagination Productions
Hadara Ishak is the VP of Distribution and Producer for Imagination Productions, an independent film production, and film distribution company. In addition to our commitment to sharing uncompromisingly compelling stories through documentary film, we also focus on narrative short films geared to both feature and series genres.
Imagination Productions is currently running a bold new initiative that supports the development of content to further enhance the discussion of Jewish identity and culture in America.
Hadara’s notable documentaries have been in hundreds of film festivals worldwide, on Netflix, PBS, Comcast, Amazon, and other network and digital media platforms.
Maxwell Wolkin, Film Movement
Maxwell Wolkin is the head of festival and non-theatrical bookings at Film Movement, where he has worked since 2012. Film Movement is a New York-based distributor of independent and foreign films, including BYE BYE GERMANY, IN BETWEEN, EAST JERUSALEM WEST JERUSALEM, THE JEWISH CARDINAL, ARRANGED, THE HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER, and many others. Their newest release is A TRAMWAY IN JERUSALEM by the famed filmmaker Amos Gitai.
Kurt Beadling, Passion River Films
Kurt Beadling is the Marketing Coordinator at Passion River Films and has worked with Passion River since 2017. Having a background in Film and Marketing, Kurt has previously worked on marketing campaigns for the Philadelphia Film Society and their annual Philadelphia Film Festival. Kurt’s work at Passion River focuses on bringing our extensive film catalog to communities across the globe.